This unit will provide students with practical definitions of safety in an aviation context, enabling them to measure and assess safety relative to industry standards. Students will participate in practical airline simulations which provide them with experience of assembling and managing a holistic Safety Management System, including the functions of hazard identification, risk assessment, risk mitigation and safety assurance as well as safety promotion and safety culture management. The legal aspects of managing safety will be interwoven into these experiences, and students will have the opportunity to participate in a mock court case addressing safety-related issues


Teaching periods
Start and end dates
Last self-enrolment date
Census date
Last withdraw without fail date
Results released date
Semester 1
Start and end dates
Last self-enrolment date
Census date
Last withdraw without fail date
Results released date

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this unit will be able to:

  • Describe the structure and operation of a Safety Management System (SMS) and its purpose in the modern aviation industry
  • Compare and relate the SMS sub-functions of Hazard Identification, Risk Assessment and Mitigation, Safety Assurance, and Safety Promotion
  • Implement and demonstrate a safety Risk Management Process
  • Operate a simulated Safety Management System in a manner which balances safety with commercial requirements whilst building a positive safety culture
  • Demonstrate ethical practice in a safety management environment, employing professional standards of communication

Teaching methods


Type Hours per week Number of weeks Total (number of hours)
Directed Online Learning and Independent Learning
2.00 12 weeks 24
Face to Face Contact (Phasing out)
1.00 12 weeks 12
Unspecified Learning Activities (Phasing out)
Individual Study
9.50 12 weeks 114


Type Task Weighting ULO's
AssignmentIndividual 20 - 30% 1,2 
AssignmentIndividual 20 - 30% 2,3,4 
Online QuizzesIndividual 10 - 15% 1,2 
Presentation and Response to ScenarioIndividual/Group 20 - 30% 3,4,5 
Reflective JournalIndividual 15 - 25% 4,5 


Safety Management Systems – Overview

  • What is it?
  • Why an integrated approach?
  • Definitions and terms
  • Safety management v quality management
  • Cost-benefit analysis – developing the business case for ISMS
  • Legal Responsibilities

Elements of a Safety Management System

  • Management commitment
  • Policies and objectives
  • Organisational structure
  • Role of the Safety Officer
  • Setting up a Safety Committee
  • Hazard and risk management
  • Hazard identification
  • Risk analysis and defences
  • Reporting systems
  • Safety education and training
  • Audit and assessment
  • Documentation

Evaluating and maintaining ISMS

  • Need to evaluate
  • What to evaluate
  • When to evaluate
  • How to evaluate

Study resources

Reading materials

A list of reading materials and/or required textbooks will be available in the Unit Outline on Canvas.